The Best Flooring for Uneven Surfaces

Most floor manufacturers recommend repairing or replacing uneven floor surfaces. Installation of a new floor on top of an uneven surface results in the new floor covering appearing uneven. Failure to fix the defect may cause the new floor to squeak or buckle and void any warranty on the covering. The uneven floor may also present a tripping hazard. Usually, flooring coverings placed over uneven surfaces experience excess wear where the floor dips or bulges. This will result in replacing the floor covering sooner than expected.

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Installing new flooring over an uneven surface may cost more money in the long run.

Vinyl Tile

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Vinyl tile floor.

Vinyl tile provides durability and easy maintenance. Its numerous colors and style choices make it a common choice for floor coverings. The material comes in two types: vinyl composite tile (VCT) and solid vinyl. VCT provides an excellent high shine. However, its porous nature requires sealants to protect the material and yield a better shine. Vinyl composite tile contains asbestos fibers wood flour, vinyl resins and color pigments. Solid vinyl has many of the same attributes as VCT. The floor can absorb sound waves, which makes it quieter. However, its composition, which consists of plastic material, will show imperfections in the sub-floor. Cover an uneven floor with an underlayment before installing this type of vinyl tile.

Carpeting

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Carpet flooring.

When a bedroom, family room or other living space has an uneven floor, and moisture is not a concern, carpeting represents the best flooring option. Installing a carpet pad as an underlayment evens out slight flaws in the floor. However, the carpet pad offers only a temporary solution to the uneven surface. The pad will have a shorter life span as it wears out in the uneven area.

Laminate Flooring

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Laminate flooring.

In recent years, laminated flooring has become a popular choice for many homeowners. Its durability, trendy appearance and low maintenance requirements make it an affordable alternative to hardwood. Laminated flooring has a composite wood base covered with a layer of resin. The resin receives an imprint during processing that gives it a hardwood finish. Before installation, the installer should install a thin 1/8-inch foam underlayment, which will cover minor imperfections in the sub-floor.

Ceramic Tile

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Ceramic tiled floor.

Many homeowners choose ceramic tile or similar material for kitchens and bathrooms. The most important component of a successful tile project is a solid, even sub-floor. Spread a floor leveler compound to even out slight dips or waves in the sub-floor. Available in liquid or powder form, floor leveler products generally have a Portland cement composition and adhere to wood or concrete. The leveler will have to dry for 24 hours before you proceed with the tile installation.